The MDWFP White-tailed Deer Program's goal is to provide a
quality white-tailed deer population statewide and offer maximum
outdoor recreational opportunity to the public without negatively
affecting the resource. Mississippi's deer population is
estimated to be 1.75 million, with hunters harvesting approximately
280,000 deer annually. Biologists provide deer related
technical guidance to managers on private and public lands, conduct
seminars, speak publicly, write articles for professional
publications, conduct statewide disease surveillance, and assist
Mississippi State University with deer research projects.
As the center stone of the Deer Program, the Deer Management
Assistance Program (DMAP) is a comprehensive deer management
program, consisting of data collection and cooperator education
with which the MDWFP tries to put the landowner/cooperator in a
better position to manage their lands for a healthy deer herd,
while maintaining habitat integrity. Data from the program
are used to develop site specific harvest recommendations, and have
prompted numerous research projects to help better understand deer
biology. Annually, there are 600+ DMAP cooperators covering
over 2.5 million acres in Mississippi.
In addition to working with private landowners, biologists also
provide technical assistance on various local, state, and federal
public lands across the state. Some of the assistance
provided to the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) program includes
habitat modification recommendations, deer harvest analysis, spring
herd health evaluations, population surveys, deer disease
surveillance, and regulation recommendations.
MDWFP is also required by the MS Legislature to regulate all
commercial and noncommercial wild animal enclosures in order to
conserve and protect native wildlife for all citizens to enjoy and
to protect our recreational economy dependent on native wildlife
resources. The objective of the Enclosure Program is to
regulate enclosures containing white-tailed deer by conducting
annual inspections and issuing permits as defined in 40 MS Admin
Code Part 2, Chap 8 - Rule 8.2.
For more information about deer management, contact a Private Lands Biologist.
In case of
emergency or to report a violation,
Rules & Regulations
A hunter posing with his first deer, Tippah County,